Battleland

Marines Contracting Out Training for Force Recon

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Chris Hondros / Getty Images

Force Recon Marines interrogate an Iraqi prisoner shortly after the 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq.

The Marines deem themselves to be elite, and their Force Recon units – special-ops-capable Marines who specialize in going deep into enemy territory to scout out the bad guys — are among the most elite of the elite.

That’s what makes this recent contract solicitation to hire an outside firm to train Force Recon Marines interesting. “Contracted specialized training like this,” a retired Marine general says, “is relatively new.”

What it involves – just as it did for the Army’s best aviators in Task Force 160 last year – is hiring veterans who used to serve in the unit to train rookies. Apparently, it saves money.

The training sought is pretty much soup-to-nuts:

The Force Reconnaissance Detachment (FoReconDet), 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit (22 MEU), II Marine Expeditionary Force (II MEF) requires contracted support to provide its personnel with sustainment, refinement and enhancement of their existing skill sets. The Force Reconnaissance Company and other specialized components within II MEF, provide deploying personnel to operate and support MEU and other ground combat elements conducting specialized reconnaissance, surveillance, combat, counter insurgency and stability operations in support of MEU directed taskings as part of their organizational Mission Essential Task List (METL).

A MEU consists of about 2,200 Marines and is deployed on amphibious vessels around the world along with their aircraft and armor. About 60 reservists will be trained under this contract.

Here are the skills the Marines want sharpened among their Force Recon guys over their 19 days of training:

– Six (6) day Close Quarter Combat (CQC) Marksmanship Skills Course…Combat Mindset…Fundamentals of Combat Marksmanship…M4 Carbine Zero Confirmation & Co-witnessing Optically Aided Sighting Devices.

– Two (2) days of Close Quarter Combat (CQC) Marksmanship Course base on urban breaching and sniping training...Sniper Initiated Assault Modules from ground and elevated, over-watching dominating positions (Day / Night)…Advanced Mechanical Breaching Modules concentrating on the various TTPs necessary for successful VBSS profiles (Maritime Platform Door & Hatch Defeat)

– Four (4) day On/Off-Road Combat Ground Mobility Course…Dismounted and mounted live fire exercises shall be incorporated into this portion of the syllabus to enhance unit / element / force tactical expertise and abilities to react with predictable survivability to mounted contacts enroute between “secure” FOB’s / LOB’s / other venues to distant venues and / or perceived “secure” final destinations.

– Four (4) day Basic CQC Tactics Course…Actions at the Entry Point…Single, Double Stack and 6 Man Tactics/Procedures…Courtyard Entries to Indigenous Compounds…   Mechanical, Ballistic and Interior / Exterior Explosive Breaching Procedures

– One (1) day Full Spectrum Supported Situational Training Exercise (STX)…Scenarios shall be derived from the frequently executed mission profiles that FoReconCo detachments are currently experiencing in theater.  Combat Trauma Mannequins, Moulaged Patients and USDAAT models shall be incorporated into the STX for sustainment of operational medicine skills and enhance team treatment, stabilization and CasEvac procedures. Emphasis of this culminating phase of the training package is on correct procedural performance and timely, efficient, successful execution of TTPs.

Plus, the basics (three hots and a cot):

– Lodging per day for 60 students. Quantity: 19 days
– Breakfast meal, first meal 12 June and last meal 01 July for 60 students. Quantity: 18 days; one meal will not be prepared on the day of the STX
– Lunch meal, first meal 12 June and last meal 01 July for 60 students. Quantity: 18 days; one meal will not be prepared on the day of the STX
– Dinner meal, first meal 12 June and last meal 01 July for 60 students. Quantity: 18 days; one meal will not be prepared on the day of the STX

This isn’t a contract you suddenly decide you want to bid on. To be considered, a contractor must have:

1.1  — Surveyed Drop Zone Capable of Day/Night MFF ParaOps to support airborne TOP/TOT provisions of the force
1.2  — 8 lane Rogers Reactive Target range with a variety of pistol & carbine capable pneumatic, automated, steel targets.
1.3  — 75yd 20 Lane – Pneumatic Remote Controlled Wilson 90o Combat Turner Pistol, Carbine and Rifle Range
1.4  — 150yd 40 Lane – Pneumatic Decision Making/Tgt Discrimination Reactive Limited Exposure Turner, Multiple Headplate, Breastplate and Running Target Pistol, Carbine and Rifle Range comprised of AR500-520 Brinell Steel, Runner Rails and Turning Target Arrays.  Range shall be capable of providing individual firing lanes that present a vast array of target choices and behaviors
1.5  — Minimum 300yd 270⁰ Multipurpose range of approximately 21,000 square feet that facilitates scenario focused live-fire or simunitions exercises to refine, enhance, or validate the force’s Standard Operating Procedures and Immediate Action Drills. Range should be capable of supporting simultaneous round robin stations as well as the execution of individual, team and detachment sized movements to contact, contact, immediate action and break from contact drills. Range should also possess adjacent two (2) and five (5) story Multipurpose Towers that allow exercises/drills involving elevated/over-watching target engagements to be safely and efficiently exercised and which are de-conflicted for safety by the contractor.  Range should possess a variety of paper target stands and reactive steel targetry
1.5.1  — Adjoining Multipurpose Towers should have multi-level platforms with a variety of shooting positions available
1.6  — Minimum of two stand alone Breaching Houses with adjacent indoor charge breakout and preparation area
1.7  — Minimum of two stand alone 360o fully ballistic to 7.62mm, interior and exterior explosive, mechanical and ballistic breaching capable shoot houses
1.7.1  — Both houses shall possess overhead catwalks for evaluative and observation purposes and be quickly reconfigurable to change house layouts in support of rapid house re-configuration cycles to minimize down time.
1.7.2  — Houses shall be no greater than 20m apart to facilitate simultaneous multi-house assaults and be surrounded by 9’ walls with indigenous gates for in-theater realism
1.7.3  — Houses shall possess multiple explosive exterior entry points and interior explosive and mechanical breaching points.
1.7.4  — Compound wall shall possess multiple explosive and vehicular breach points (indigenous gates and breaching sections)
1.7.5  — Compound wall shall possess multiple personnel vehicular ingress and egress points / gates
1.8 — Minimum 1000m Known Distance (KD) Rifle Range with raised firing points to support sniper team confirmation of data and data compilation
1.9 — Minimum 1000m Unknown Distance (UKD) Rifle Range to support sniper team sustainment and refinement courses of fire. This range shall possess and adjacent four (4) story precision shooting tower  overlooking a variety of reactive steel targetry and vehicle hulks
1.10 — Minimum 10 Acre Theater Specific Maneuver Range that facilitates live fire and simmunitions movement profiles for the force to designated targets ISO Situational Training Exercises.
1.11 — Minimum 30 Acre Theater Specific MOUT Complex with adjacent DZ and HLZ to support force on force STX aspects of the training package
1.12 — Off-road Track with Engineered Obstacles area capable of supporting the obstacle negotiation, spotter appreciation, vehicle clearance capabilities/preservation, 4×4 operation, Max Gradient / Vehicle Roll-over Threshold and vehicle recovery aspects of the training

Some tells Battleland there aren’t too many folks gonna bid on this job.

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